BROCKTON--After 40 years in the fight game, reknowned boxing manager and trainer Guerino “Goody” Petronelli, best known for his work with middleweight champion Brockton’s “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, could not overcome the toughest battle of all—the loss of his lifelong sweetheart, wife Pat.
“I think he died of a broken heart,” said Petronelli’s son, David. “After almost 70 years I don’t think he could live without her,” he said.
David Petronelli, said family members were worried about 88-year-old Goody, a Brockton native, over the weekend when he could not be reached.
David said he drove to Goody’s home in Sandwich Sunday and was shocked to find his father had succumbed sometime during that morning.
“It was not what I expected. It was a complete surprise,” David said. “He was in great health. He had no heart problems, no physical problems, except an ingrown toenail that he was going to have removed…it was terrible to find him that way,” he said.
David said visiting hours will be Thursday, Feb. 2 at Egger & Ashley Funeral Home, 32 Oak St., Middleboro from 6 to 8 p.m.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. at Ashley Funeral Home followed by a burial at Pine Hill Cemetery in West Bridgewater.
David said Goody spent 30 years in the Navy and then came home to launch a boxing gym with his brother Pat—a gym that gained national--and international prominence--when the brothers began managing and training eventual middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Goody had one motto, David said, "Don't quit. Don't ever quit. Always keep fighting."
David said his father met many celebrities during his years as a trainer and visited many of their opulent homes, but the place he loved most was being with his wife Marian, who was well known in the area as Pat and for her works as a Christian.
The couple married in 1944 and were a loving and amorous pair that had few equals for 67 years until Pat suddenly died in Oct. 2011—just three months ago, one month after Goody's brother Pat died at age 89.
“I’ve never seen anything like them. He took it hard when she died. He hasn’t talked about anything else for the last 3 months,” David said.
“It’s just, you can’t describe it—they loved each other,” David said.
(Photo caption: Goody, at far right, with Hagler, center and brother Pat, left, in 1985 when Hagler beat Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns. Photo courtesy TheSweetScience.com.)